Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that between 2013-18 neonatal mortality rate in Sindh has decreased by more than 30 per cent, infant mortality rate by 19 per cent and under-five mortality rate by 17 per cent.
"This speaks louder of provincial government's pragmatic and result-oriented healthcare policies, therefore we are taking steps to launch the Mother & Child Support Programme to register pregnant women at health facilities close to their homes, and provide them with cash support for each scheduled visit including institutional delivery." This he said on Wednesday while talking to the media just after inaugurating the `Mother and Child Support Programme', launched by the Social Protection Strategy Unit, CM Secretariat, here at CM House.
The ceremony was attended by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, provincial ministers, advisors, special assistants and senior officers of different departments.
Bilawal said that according to Demographic and Health Survey conducted by USAID and UKAID for the years 2013-18, neonatal Mortality has decreased by 19 per cent in Punjab, increased by two per cent in KPK and decreased by 30 per cent in Sindh. Similarly, the infant mortality rate has decreased by 17 per cent in Punjab, 19 per cent in Sindh and nine per cent in KP. Under-5 mortality rate has decreased 19 pe rcent in Punjab, 17 per cent in Sindh and nine per cent KPK.
Giving details, PPP chairman said, PPP has always launched pro-poor policies with the objective to steer the people out of poverty. "It was only Shaheed Zulfikar Ali who retrieved lands from the occupation of Jagirdars and gave that land to peasants," he said and added that Shaheed Mohterma Benazir Bhutto had launched a lady health worker programme.
He said that the PPP government had also introduced interest-free loans and their repayment ratio was recorded at 99 per cent.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah speaking on the occasion said that his government has made significant progress in improving the outreach and quality of primary health services aimed at maternal, new-born and child health.
He added that these WHO-recommended services, such as ante-natal check-ups, safe delivery, postnatal care, child growth monitoring and immunization were available free of cost at public health facilities throughout the province.
Shah said, "Pregnant women are supported with a cash amount of Rs1,000 on each scheduled antenatal, postnatal and child healthcare visits, Rs4,000 for institutional or healthcare facility-based delivery and Rs2,000 for birth registration with NADRA."
Published in The Express Tribune, November 25th, 2021.
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